The End to the Jayson Werth Era

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, via Twitter, reported that Jayson Werth broke up with agent Jeff Borris of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, thus putting the right fielder in the market for new representation. On its face, it seems like boring news as players switch agents and it never really makes a difference. However, Werth is expected to be one of the premier players on the market after the 2010 season ends along with Carl Crawford currently with the Tampa Bay Rays.

What does it mean? It could mean nothing. It could also be a very blatant signal that Werth does not see his future including red pinstripes, be it in or out of his control. Nobody besides Werth, his new agent, and the Phillies’ front office really has a good idea as to what will happen. But we can draw from some contextual clues to give us a better idea of what the future may hold.

The question a lot of people are wondering is if the Phillies will be able to retain Werth with another deep post-season run. After all, how many players willingly walk away from a team that has reached the post-season in four straight years, won a World Series and reached another one? Let’s look at the context:

  • The Phillies currently have about $145 million on the books already cemented, to be doled out to 17 players. They also have the first years of arbitration for Ben Francisco and Kyle Kendrick, and four other players potentially leaving via free agency (Jamie Moyer, Chad Durbin, Jose Contreras, and Mike Sweeney).
  • Werth is likely to command a four- or five-year deal with an average annual salary in the $17 million range, plus or minus a couple million depending on how many and which teams are involved.

Should the Phillies re-sign Werth to a market-value contract of, say, four years at $17 million per, then the Phillies would have $162 million due to 18 players. Filling out seven roster spots mostly comprised of middle relievers and bench players shouldn’t be hard, but those players do cost money. The Major League minimum is $400,000 so the Phillies would have to account for at least $3 million more, leading us to a $165 million Opening Day payroll. That’s without figuring in Minor Leaguers called up during the season whose salary will be prorated but nonetheless tangible, nor mid-season acquisitions such as Roy Oswalt and Mike Sweeney of this season. In reality, the Phillies need to give themselves the flexibility to boost payroll to at least $165 million with the potential to go to around $175 million.

The Phillies started the 2009 season, fresh off of a World Series championship, with a $113 million payroll. This year, they increased that by $25 million to $138 million. That is a very significant jump — 22 percent to be exact. If the Phillies were to jump from $138 million to $165 million, that would be another 20 percent increase. Theoretically, it shouldn’t be a big deal; after all, the Phillies did recently cross into the echelon of 100 consecutive sell-outs at home. They have a ton of money coming in. But increasing payroll by 20 percent in consecutive years really is a big deal to the people dishing out that investment. The Yankees increased payroll by 39, 22, and 32 percent from 2002-04 but that was starting from a payroll of $58 million. Starting at $113 million and going to $165 million in two years is very, very significant.

Then consider the top prospect the Phillies front office has coveted, flatly refusing to include him in any trade — even for baseball’s best pitcher, Roy Halladay. Domonic Brown is, by all accounts, ready for an everyday job in the outfield at the Major League level. With Raul Ibanez signed for one more year and Shane Victorino for two more years, there is only one logical spot to put Brown: right field. And it just so happens that right field will be vacated by a soon-to-be free agent. Swapping Werth for Brown will keep the Phillies at about $145 million with seven roster spots to fill, meaning they could potentially have an Opening Day payroll around $155 million. Given the way the organization covets Brown, they do not think the drop-off in production will be significant at all.

The Werth-Brown dilemma, from the Phillies’ perspective, then comes down to devoting $70 million or so over four years to the 31-year-old Werth, or pay the 23-year-old rookie $400,000 for relatively equivalent levels of production. That makes the decision-making seem awfully easy. Everybody and their grandmother would choose the cheaper option.

Brown was not coveted simply because the organization liked him so much, but because they saw the vacancy in right field coming way in advance. They have known for quite some time that they would be unwilling and/or unable to compete for Werth’s services in free agency and have prepared accordingly. If the Phillies thought they had a good shot at keeping Werth around, we would have seen one of the outfielders traded — namely Ibanez (as a salary dump) or Victorino. But despite ample opportunity, that never happened.

The only logical conclusion here is that Werth’s time in Philadelphia is running out. The front office knows this. Werth is likely very aware of this and it is very likely the reason why he decided to seek new representation in early September. Would a player intent on staying put do that? Consider that he was the subject of a baseless salacious rumor involving extra-marital affairs and baseless character assassination by some in the Philadelphia sports media. He also bore the brunt of a newfound reputation as an unclutch player and an irritable shut-in.

No, we don’t know for sure that Werth’s days as a Phillie are ending soon. We are not privy to the discussions between Werth and the Phillies’ front office. Very little has been reported about this matter outside of Werth’s new search for representation. However, looking at all of the little contextual clues, we can conclude rather confidently that he’s not coming back after the season regardless of how much success the team enjoys in October.

UPDATE: Craig Calcaterra reports that Scott Boras is the leading candidate to represent Werth:

[...] Crasnick’s source says Werth is “shopping” for new representation. I’m hearing the same thing.

What else I’m hearing: the front runner is Scott Boras, with whom Werth is “way down the road,” according to my sources, and it’s looking like he will sign with him.

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39 comments

  1. Gio

    September 06, 2010 07:15 AM

    Pretty clear that Werth is leaving. Has been since the offseason. Tough not to play the woulda-shoulda game, but I bet Ruben has played it at least once when it comes to giving Raul that deal. But this sort of stuff happens all the time. Its tough because we all would love Werth to stay. Perhaps we do take on his salary, find a taker for Ibanez, and put Brown in left. Perhaps we keep him, do nothing else, and let Brown stew another year or platoon him with Raul. I mean we’re a perennial playoff team that’s raking in the cash. If we can continue to win at the expense of profitting a few less million dollars, shouldn’t we strongly consider that? Or maybe Werth is so important that we move another player, say a Victorino. Not saying I would want that to happen because he’s one of my favorites, but he would carry some value.

    Thankfully we’re involved in a pennant race during football season, which makes this the best time of the year for me, and all I’m thinking about (from a sports perspective, my wife and two kids wouldn’t understand otherwise) is winning both games today and taking a 1/2 game lead on Atlanta.

    BTW, I live in Atlanta, have for the last 19 years, and have always proudly worn my Phillies garb even when the Braves were killing us all those years. Can’t tell you how many people this year comment (mostly harmless ribbings) about my hat, shirts, jersey, etc. Braves’ fans are feeling it, which is cool. They’re also very nervous they won’t even make it at all. They see the Phils as these sleeping giants that are winning way differently this year than they have in the past. Whether or not the bats wake up, I’ll take the wins and hope the Braves get in with us (as the wild card) to give these nice southern folk something to be happy about.

  2. Ajay

    September 06, 2010 07:49 AM

    Question: when you write: “…[it] then comes down to devoting $70 million or so over four years to the 31-year-old Werth, or pay the 23-year-old rookie $400,000 for relatively equivalent levels of production…” what do you mean about equivalent levels of production? Over the four year period? Or do you expect Brown to instantly produce at the same clip?

    And what do you think about the lack of a powerful right-handed bat next year? How much does that hurt us?

  3. hk

    September 06, 2010 07:49 AM

    It’s sad, but probably true that Werth is gone after this year. The main culprit is the unnecessary 3rd year RAJ gave to Raul. Even if they trade Raul in a salary dump, signing Werth will have a major impact on the payroll. The only possible solution that I see for keeping Werth and not significantly increasing 2011 payroll is (1) trade Victorino in the offseason, (2) sign Werth to play CF in 2011 and LF in 2012-4 and (3) if Werth is willing, spread his $70M over 4 years something like $10M in 2011 and $20M in 2012-4.

  4. hk

    September 06, 2010 07:54 AM

    Hey Bill,

    I don’t really follow the local media and local bloggers other than your blog. Has the Werth bashing continued over the past 6 weeks or so or has it subsided with the team’s improved play and place in the standings?

  5. G

    September 06, 2010 08:42 AM

    Wow. This story is such a mess. Where to begin.

    For starters, Bill writes this like he was in a lab for 2 weeks, and after 2 weeks of analysis, he has come to the conclusion that Jayson Werth won’t be back next year. This has been painfully obvious for months, with or without a change in his agent.

    And regarding the last paragraphs, why would you even mention ridiculous internet rumors? I would think you are above that. And regarding “baseless character assassination”, are you sure it is baseless? You could call it unnecessary or unprofessional, as you have countless times on twitter, but instead you’re calling it baseless. Are you saying there is no evidence whatsoever to support the notion that Werth may be an asshole?

    His advanced metrics may be great, but it’s possible he’s an asshole. I’m not sure that is baseless, Bill. How many times have you had one on one contact with Jayson Werth? My guess is less time than the beat writers. I’m not sure how their contentions are baseless. Again, unprofessional perhaps, but you’re not qualified to call them baseless.

  6. Bill Baer

    September 06, 2010 02:38 PM

    Ajay: That comment is from the Phillies’ perspective. It’s pretty clear they think he can match Werth’s production in whatever way they measure production.

    hk, it’s subsided but not totally gone yet.

    G, whether it’s obvious to you or not doesn’t mean it’s obvious to everyone. Regarding the “baseless character assassination”, read this:

    crashburnalley.com/2010/07/20/the-werth-hate-fest-continues/

  7. Danny

    September 06, 2010 03:29 PM

    Werth is a fine player, but at the age of 31, is he really worth 17 million per year, and for four years? I am a bit skeptical.

  8. Bill Baer

    September 06, 2010 03:40 PM

    BPro’s Matt Swartz found that one win above replacement according to FanGraphs (fWAR) is worth $6.1 million. Werth has compiled 4-5 WAR in each of the past three seasons. If we project that going forward, Werth would be worth at least $24.4 million per season. He would also be worth slightly more if FanGraphs factored in base running (outside of SB/CS) as well.

    So, technically, he would be more than worth what he is likely to get on the free agent market.

  9. Marley

    September 06, 2010 03:50 PM

    “relatively equivalent levels of production”

    Are we really supposed to expect this from Brown? And as Ajay asked, short-term or long-term? Assuming Brown takes a while to get going (not necessarily a sound assumption, I just have no idea), a 2011 outfield of Raul, Vic, Brown (plus Francisco?) could be pretty weak offensively.

  10. Marley

    September 06, 2010 03:51 PM

    Oops, posted that before I saw your answer. If this scenario plays out the way you expect, I sure hope the FO is correct about that assumption!

  11. Danny

    September 06, 2010 04:40 PM

    @ Bill Baer: I am an enthusiastic proponent of rational analysis and sabremetrics, but if an evaluation method finds that Werth is Worth 24.4, then, with all due respect, there is a serious problem, prima facie, with, but $24.4 mil? no way.

  12. Danny

    September 06, 2010 04:41 PM

    Sorry for the gibberish. What I meant to say is:

    @ Bill Baer: I am an enthusiastic proponent of rational analysis and sabremetrics, but if an evaluation method finds that Werth is Worth 24.4, then, with all due respect, there is a serious problem, prima facie, with the method. As I said, Werth is a terrific player, but $24.4 mil? no way.

  13. Bill Baer

    September 06, 2010 05:06 PM

    Check out the Swartz article. His methodology is all there. If you disagree with it, you are more than welcome to point out his flaws.

  14. andy

    September 06, 2010 08:54 PM

    i would love to see werth stay over ibanez or keep them both. 38 years old is the biggest stat the concerns me. particularly with the injury issues the philies saw this year it would makes sense to keep all 4

  15. Jim

    September 06, 2010 09:05 PM

    @andy,

    Except money doesn’t grow on trees. We ain’t the Yankees I’m afraid. Even mighty Boston has a budget.

    To me, our ability to keep Werth went out the window when these two things happened: 1) we gave Howard a contract only the Yankees can afford to overpay for; and 2) we traded for Oswalt and inherited his 2011 salary. Howard, well… I won’t beat that dead horse, but I don’t know, I think I rather have Oswalt as a Phillie for 2011 than Werth. Now, 2012-2014, by then D Brown should be ready to hit OPS .850+, right? :)

  16. dino

    September 06, 2010 09:29 PM

    Aside from the Ibanez contract, the disastrous Howard contract has to be a factor in the Werth saga. Werth knew that he was gone when Ryan signed that preposterous deal in April which will haunt the Phillies for years to come. Howard is having a terrible year in all respects. His WAR is way down; UZR is pathetic, and the Phillies were comparing him to Pujols !!!

  17. Scott G

    September 06, 2010 10:48 PM

    Werth is a lot better than people give him credit for. OPS+ of 121, 128, and 141 the last 3 seasons. Werth’s wOBA this season is 0.394.

    Bill,

    How would you compare Werth’s value to the Phillies to Howard’s value regardless of pay. Namely, if you had to have one of them (offense and defense), who do you think is most valuable to the team?

  18. Bill Baer

    September 06, 2010 11:29 PM

    Werth. It’s not even close. Over the last three seasons, he’s averaged 4.6 WAR; Howard has averaged 3.0.

    Werth is a well above-average hitter (one of the best in baseball — as good as David Wright and Adrian Gonzalez in wOBA over the last 3 years), an above-average fielder (career 11.4 UZR/150 in RF) with a great arm, and he runs the bases well, even outside of SB/CS.

    Howard does one thing well: hit. He’s below-average defensively and well below-average on the bases. If Howard’s bat slows down, he’ll have almost no value whatsoever. If Werth’s bat slows down, he can still contribute in other ways.

  19. kmart

    September 06, 2010 11:42 PM

    This isn’t the popular opinion here, but I still would rather have Howard than Werth. From a purely numeric standpoint there is no way to prove he’s a better play or worth keeping over Werth, but from an emotional standpoint, I’d rather see Howard retire a Phillie than Werth. This isn’t to say I don’t like Werth, because I do, and I will be very sad to see him go… I just would rather have Howard here long term than Jayson Werth.

  20. Bill Baer

    September 06, 2010 11:49 PM

    That’s a totally justified reason. Just as long as you don’t argue that it’s better for the organization.

  21. Marley

    September 07, 2010 03:17 AM

    Howard MIGHT be “better for the organization” than Werth if Ryan Howard (the persona) sells more tickets and merch (and generates more civic goodwill) than Werth (the persona), and if that difference offsets Werth’s on-field statistical advantage (and the correlating tickets/merch/goodwill generated by the Phils fielding a slightly better team). I can’t think of any way to actually measure this, but I’m just saying it’s a possibility, that “better for the organization” can be interpreted multiple ways, and that judging their overall value to the organization is more complicated than comparing WAR.

    Personally, I really like them both. If I could only have one going forward, I’d take Howard, but like kmart (in the comment above), would be doing so for sentimental or at least intangible reasons.

  22. Bill Baer

    September 07, 2010 03:41 AM

    But the Phillies are selling out every game regardless of Howard, as the ticket sales during his absence can attest. If they were the Pittsburgh Pirates, Howard may have a tangible impact on ticket and merchandise sales, but not for a team that’s been one of the best teams in baseball over the last 3+ years.

  23. Dan

    September 07, 2010 05:41 AM

    I think Utley is the most important player to this team… one of our pitchers may be more important, but I don’t think any position player does more for this club than Utley does.

    But between Werth and Howard; Werth brings a lot of tools to the plate (above average speed, above average defense, above average power, etc.), and Howard only really brings one tool (power). HOWEVER, Howard’s power is out of this world, as opposed to just average. There is no replacing that kind of production (as we see when he slumps). Howad also has the uncanny ability to carry us in September. Werth tends to be the guy (along with Utley, and Ibanez in 2008) that helps the team stay within reach in September so Howard can do his thing.

    As for being able to replace them, it’s very difficult to replace either. The difference is that we have a major-league ready player in the OF with similar tools to Werth. We may never find another player with Howard’s power.

    Still, I wouldn’t mind having management dig deep into their pockets and keeping them both around (if we can keep Werth for 2-3 more years, we should have plenty of time to groom Brown to replace him). I still really wish we could have shopped Ibanez this year. If only he had a longer hitting streak…

  24. Scott G

    September 07, 2010 10:46 AM

    Ryan Howard’s power is down SUBSTANTIALLY this season. He has also walked 39 times. Jimmy Rollins, someone a rip frequently for his lack of patience at the plate, has also walked 39 times in a lot fewer PAs.

    If Howard’s patience and power don’t regress to what we expect them to be, then I’m not sure if he helps the team at all.

    Personally, I like Werth a lot more than Howard, and I think he contributes a lot more to the team than Howard does. I am more willing to buy tickets to go see Utley and Werth than Howard.

  25. Jim

    September 07, 2010 11:10 AM

    Bill is right. We buy tickets to watch the Phillies WIN, at least that’s what I bet 80% of the 112 sell-out crowds buy those tickets for. Sure, it’s nice to have sentimental reasons, but I was sad to see Scott Rolen go and sad to see Bobby Abreu go, and their departures sure don’t seem to have had much of a long-term impact on ticket sales. Bottom line, Howard’s contract is gonna kill us. Might feel good right now, but even on the sentimental side, we’ll be quite sad for a lot more often when we have to let go many good people due to that unfathomable contract. All I know is the Phillies have this year and next year to go for a WS win again. After that… Well, I can only pray 10 million more people move into the area so we can have a ridiculous TV deal on par with the Yankees (which I hope people realize the sarcasm in my suggestion).

    Oh a side note… Imagine if we do have Yankees money and kept both Rolen and Abreu. That means, 1) no Raul, and 2) as much as I like Polanco, I much rather have Rolen. Heck, since I’m pretending to have Yankees money, might as well have Polanco too to be a super-sub (better than having Valdez and Dobbs and Sweeney… sigh…).

  26. Dan

    September 07, 2010 12:38 PM

    If we had Yankees money I’m fairly certain we’d have spent the money to have Cliff Lee, Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels, and one other pitcher (not Blanton or Kendrick, maybe Lily), as opposed to having Polanco for the bench.

    Yet another reason I hate the Yankees…

  27. Jim

    September 07, 2010 02:20 PM

    It seems lately that the “Free” Agents are turning out to be busts – Pat Burrell cut by Tampa Bay, Jason Bay rough time in the Big Apple, Troy Glaus not lighting it up in the ATL. You said Jayson took off in the new ballpark as well as having a potent offense with strong leaders around him. These guys need to evaluate what is more important to them.

  28. Jim

    September 07, 2010 04:07 PM

    @Jim (no relation),

    Easy for you to say. If you’re offered $10 million a year to play a game, you’re gonna think about the intangibles like, “do I enjoy playing in Tampa/NYC/Atlanta?” If you offer me $10 million a year to play baseball, I’ll play in Iraq for all I care. Yes, these guys have more choices than you and I, but I’m sorry, to suggest that they shouldn’t go for the money is patently ridiculous. I blame the Phillies for giving Howard that albatross of a contract, but if Howard wanted my opinion on how he did personally, I would say, “man, heck of a job Ryan, heck of a job.” Or rather, to his agent I guess…

  29. Scott G

    September 07, 2010 05:30 PM

    Jim,

    I’d say that maybe 60% of the 112 sellouts are to watch the Phillies win. The other 40% are probably only around for the social aspect because the Phillies are “in” right now. Yes, they’re in because they win, but even in 1998 they won some games.

    I hate seeing people do the wave in any game, but especially in close games. I hate when the fans cheer after the Phillies give up a home run, but some idiotic fan throws the ball back. At least in the late 90s, you knew why 90% of the people watched the team.

  30. Sanj

    September 08, 2010 03:05 PM

    How could anyone argue Jayson Werth over Ryan Howard, it is absurd. Please find me a single GM that would agree to take Werth over Howard in a 2-player draft, just ONE. This represents a complete misunderstanding of psychology of baseball. You cannot have a risk-neutral statistical analysis when the decision makers and actors are all risk-averse. Howard’s otherworldly power and ability to change the game with one swing of the bat makes him the most important hitter in our lineup. There is a reason why you always hear that Ryan Howard is THE GUY other teams have to gameplan for.

  31. Sanj

    September 08, 2010 03:20 PM

    BTW, the fact that you would give Jayson Werth AT LEAST $24.4mm a year probably is enough to debunk all of Sabermetrics. You would make a 31 year old one-time all-star the 2nd or 3rd highest paid player in ALL of sports? I don’t think I can take anything on this site seriously anymore.

  32. Jim

    September 08, 2010 03:33 PM

    @Sanj,

    Ryan Howard, 2006-2009 edition, no question. Ryan Howard, 2010 edition? Not so much. And seeing as how we’re talking about the Howard contract he signed THIS year for the years 2012-2016, a responsible GM would have taken the numbers he compiled all before the age of 30 with a grain of salt, or at least expect a drop off. Remember, the decision wasn’t “Do I give Howard $125 million or give it to charity?” The decision was “Do I give Howard $125 million or spend it getting other, possibly younger and/or better, players?” It’s not like production decline due to age is a new concept… It’s been around for decades. A REAL risk-averse GM wouldn’t IGNORE risks. There is a reason why the consensus was that Phillies overpaid on the extension. “Overpaid” usually means that no one else, in this case other GMs, would have paid that amount to get Howard.

  33. CH Phan

    September 08, 2010 05:39 PM

    So this “article” was based on a tweet from Jerry Crasnick (ESPN) who essentially used his Twitter account to spread rumor and innuendo. (And we all know how valid the ESPN reporters, like Buster Olney, can be.) Let’s face it w/o Werth or his present or past agent to substantiate any of this it IS rumor and innuendo. Wow, I have to say Calcaterra’s article doesn’t impress me as the best form of fact gathering and reporting of information. But hey, I guess it’s a gamble on the part of sports reporters. If it turns out to be true; they’re golden. If it’s not true; they bank on the public having a short memory, which seems to be a safe bet these days.

    In any case, the Phillie’s FO has basically spent the season dissing Werth. They deserve to lose him (I can’t see how he was gone in the offseason as someone has already said). If he goes to another team, then I wish him the best and I hope he gets big bucks. No reason to wish him ill. But in my mind the best thing for both parties would be for him to stay and for the FO to re-sign him.

    I don’t have a problem w/Brown but to be honest so far he looks like a lot of hype: a lot of Ks, low avg, not aggressive fielding in RF, and no aim from RF. But he’s young. Just wish he would ‘learn’ BEFORE he was in the Phillies line-up.

    Beyond that; were the previously mentioned salacious rumors baseless as Bill said? Yes, and everyone knows it. I can’t believe anyone would question that stuff at this point. Nonsensical. Having worked with reporters of varying types in my career since college I have to say they aren’t the most trustworthy types when it comes to the very thing they are supposed to be doing: passing on factual information. And they make an active effort to ruin the reps of those who don’t bendover backwards to help them or work with them. They know that the public believes it BECAUSE IT IS WRITTEN. That somehow makes it “true.” Very difficult-to-impossible to undo what they’ve already written, no matter how false it is. Flatout, they win.

  34. Scott G

    September 08, 2010 06:44 PM

    Sanj,

    All-star? All-star? You’re really going to cite his all-star appearances, something that is decided by the fans, as a reason to say he shouldn’t make $24.4 million dollars?

    Jayson Werth didn’t play a full season until 2009. This was due in large part to injury. He was a first round draft pick. Not saying all first round draft picks are worth that money, but it’s not like his great numbers should be a surprise.

    Ryan Howard was a 5th round pick, FYI.

    The Phillies just gave a 30 year old 1B, below average defensively (that’s hard to do at first base), a salary north of the numbers cited for Werth.

    Werth plays the OF (more valuable than 1B) pretty damned well, he runs the bases well, and hits for very good power.

    Also, let’s be willing to think outside the box. Most ML managers still think bunting with players to advance runners from first to second is a good strategy despite the fact that it reduces run frequency and expectancy.

    I’d also be willing to as Billy Beane and Bill James their opinions on this topic. I wouldn’t mind hearing Bill Baer’s rebuttal either.

  35. Bill Baer

    September 08, 2010 08:07 PM

    Debating Werth vs. Howard is basically Sabermetrics vs. traditional stats in a nutshell. If one is not open-minded towards the former, he will be aghast at the conclusions.

    “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” — the third of Arthur C. Clarke’s three laws

    Sanj, for an in-depth explanation of converting production into a dollar amount, read this:

    www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/win-values-explained-part-five

  36. KR

    September 08, 2010 08:34 PM

    Random, unnecessary nitpicking: do the 17 players on contract for next year include Romero? I only count 16 on for sure, on contract for about $139 million, and then I see Romero with a $4.5 million option that may or may not be picked up.

  37. Bob V

    September 08, 2010 11:26 PM

    Lose Werth and you will find a huge hole in Philly. Are you all blind up there, he’s a “gamer” offensively and defensively, runs the bases, good arm, speed. Are you all nutzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Pay him the MONEY or be prepaired for mediocrity once again. He IS the Phillies MVP.

  38. CH Phan

    September 09, 2010 01:42 PM

    Bob V: Not sure he’s an MVP (unless his season had continued the way it started this yr). I do, however, think fans generally have short memories. When/if he leaves (and I’m one who hopes the FO & Werth’s agent (??) come to their senses & he stays) and he’s with another team and playing well the largest majority of the ppl who so vehemently wanted him gone will not remember wanting him gone or posting the many negative posts.

    Ryan Howard also likely won’t remember having not said a word to the FO when he had a chance. I can’t believe that wouldn’t help. If they truly consider him “the franchise” then it wouldn’t hurt. Werth at his back has helped Howard for several yrs (and by extension might’ve helped get him a monster contract?). But I guess we’ll see what Howard’s ABs look like when/if Werth is gone. W/o Werth Howard will be seeing different pitches and the Phils in general will be a different team – a team I doubt will be headed toward the playoffs next season.

    But I doubt anyone will be applying that to the fact that Werth is gone, and it won’t be due to his absence alone. But team players depend on each other and they’re a delicate balance. This one has worked well for several yrs & has been the envy of coaches & players alike across the league.

  39. hk

    September 10, 2010 02:31 PM

    Bob V, where do you get your “are you all blind up there” comment? If you read the comments, you’ll notice the following:

    1. Very few of us (Mandy Housenick aside) want to lose Werth. We are just resigned to the fact that it is going to happen.

    2. About half of us would have preferred keeping Werth and letting Howard go after 2011.

    If you are calling someone blind, it should not be the Phillies fans, it should be the FO.

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